They say the kitchen is what sells a home. Not so for Brandi Milligan and her fiancé, Jeff Singer, who loved their early-1900s farmhouse, in New Brunswick, Canada, but loathed the kitchen that came with it. While the space had great bones and a stunning original tin ceiling, it also had dingy wallpaper, dark cabinets, and a red-and-blue-checkered floor.
First to go was the wallpaper, replaced by creamy white paint. Next, Brandi removed the blue upper-cabinet doors to create open shelves, and Jeff helped move isolated corner cabinet units to the other side of the room. Brandi added crown molding to the tops of the cabinets, then refaced the lower doors with white beadboard wallpaper and trim attached with wood glue. A spray-paint treatment gave the counters the look of granite for minimal cost. Brown epoxy paint on the floor provides a neutral look short-term until the couple can afford a new floor. For the focal point, Jeff built a handsome island using stock pine; Brandi distressed it with a hammer and a chain before staining it. The finishing touch? They built a mason-jar light inspired by projects they saw online. The centerpiece is by far Brandi’s favorite part: "It helped turn a plain kitchen into something really special," she says.
Strip wallpaper and prepare walls: $48
Add crown molding to cabinets: $20